Deciding to design a brochure to advertise your company’s product or services is a great way to increase your business visibility.
Research shows that printed marketing collateral has a stronger and longer-lasting impact on consumers and that it can make your marketing initiatives 400% more effective than relying on digital marketing alone. But where do you start? You might wonder how to design a brochure; however, what you should be asking yourself is how to design an effective brochure.
Like all design projects, you must take into account the space on the page, how your audience will engage with the brochure, and consider some tried-and-true practices. To help you on your mission, we have gathered five different design and printing tips you might want to consider as you design a more engaging brochure.
How to Design a Strong Brochure
1. Use Icons Wisely
Audiences today are extremely savvy readers who are used to switching between the analog and digital worlds. As such, they are used to reading and interpreting icons.
Icons are a great way to convey a more complex message that might take up too much space on the page in a simple manner. Readers know how to recognize icons at a glance, and usually, you don’t need to add too much text to explain their meaning, especially when you use standard icons like a thumbs up, stop sign, or play button that people have seen and used before. Even more so, icons enhance your design’s aesthetic appeal.
Although you’re encouraged to use icons, don’t over-rely on them. Unlike digital icons, in print, your audience cannot click on the icons or enlarge them. You want to use the space on your page wisely. Consider using icons that highlight your product’s benefits rather than all the things it can do.
2. Use Full Bleeds (AKA Cover the Whole Page)
If you want to leave an impression, consider creating a full bleed print for your brochure. What is full bleed printing? Full bleed printing, sometimes known as all bleed, is when a design has no white margins, so the printed color and images extend to the edge of the paper. Although your target audience may not be able to name it when they see it, the results of full-bleed printing are impressive. They create a full image that immerses the audience in the print.
Full bleed printing, or print-to-edge designs, give your brochure a rich and professional look. Full bleed printing is especially impressive when building a tri-fold brochure since the color design can span a bigger section and create an immersive experience.
3. Play with the Trifold Grid
Since a standard brochure is trifold, with two folds creating three sections per side, each page gives you six sections in total. Usually, designing and building six sections is enough, but if you want to make your brochure stand out, consider playing with the brochure layout and dividing up some of the sections even further using a grid-like layout (4). This allows you to make each section and fold “talk” to the other. What might this look like? Consider how you can use one of the folds to convey more information in a user-friendly way.
For example, instead of including your mission statement and company values in one long list on one fold, you might try splitting it across three, gridded sections. The first grid could focus on your mission, the middle section could convey your company’s values, and the final block could highlight your vision statement. Breaking up the info into separate blocks on one fold can make this kind of information more visually appealing and easier to read.
4. Let Color Be Your Guide
Color is an important tool in successful brochure design. Choice of color doesn’t only have to correlate with your brand; it can also tell a story and invite consumers to seek out your services and products. Colors evoke emotions (5) and can drive people to act in a certain way without even knowing it. By using colors wisely, you are more likely to build an attractive and engaging brochure that will encourage people to consider your products.
Want another way to get inspired by color? Consider building your color palette using a single image. Look for an anchor image to organize your brochure’s flow and layout design. For example, if you sell berries and want to use the brochure to portray your products, choose an image that includes strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Now use a color palette that relates to these berries, and design your brochure around them.
5. Images, Images, Images
It’s cliché, we know, but a picture is worth a thousand words. A strong, sharp image invites anyone who glances at your brochure to imagine how their lives will be better and easier after using your services and products.
Whether you snap your own photograph or use an online image bank, you want to ensure your choice of printing does justice to your chosen image. Choose a printing service that can help you select the right kind of paper for your brochure so it makes your image stand out, and also lasts long enough to be passed from one person to the other.
What to Do After You Design Your Brochure
Designing your brochure on your computer is just part of the process of brochure design. Once you are done with your design, you need to proofread it. You can do this in two ways: either print a sample so you can review it in real-time or, even better, use an online printing service offering digital proofs.
An online printer like Mimeo allows you to proof your design on-screen, view the design in 3D, and, most importantly, save you the time it takes to get a physical proof in the mail. When you use traditional printers, you have to get a proof of your brochure in hand, update your file, send it again to be printed, review the final design, and only then receive your full print order. Using an online printer eliminates several of these steps. You don’t even need your desk to do it.
What about the Cost?
Before you dive into design mode, ask yourself, how much does it cost to get a brochure designed? As you create a budget, take into account: the design fees, the per-unit cost of each brochure copy, and shipping and delivery fees. If you are new to designing, consider the cost of designing your brochure in-house or outsourcing to a design team.
All about the ROI
Designing the brochure is just part of creating an engaging brochure. A large portion of a successful brochure project relies on the printing and distribution of the brochure to your target audience. As you calculate cost and ROI, consider what option best fits your budget. Where should you get your brochure documents printed? Heading to the local print shop may be a good solution for a simple black-and-white project, but can it handle a high-end color design and folding?
Many local print shops offer pricing on a sliding scale, and the bigger the print job, the smaller the price per unit. Not only that, but you are reliant on their narrow business hours and staffing to complete your work on time. Most local shops might have difficulties guaranteeing a print job to be done on your timeline, leaving you at their mercy. If you want to find another solution for high-quality printing at a friendly price for low volumes, consider using on-demand printing or online printing services like Mimeo. Mimeo offers high-quality, quick printing services, and can save you money no matter how big or small your printing project is.
Before You Go
Before you head out to your local printer, research brochure printing services in your area and even nationally. Some printers, like Mimeo, offer online printing services from wherever you are and can even overnight your brochures. Plus, Mimeo’s award-winning customer support team will review your order and contact you if they notice any irregularities in your design. Mimeo can even send you a sample of your work before you decide to print, so you can touch, see, and feel the quality of your brochure.